After a recent spree of attacks on gay men in Long Beach, people are taking action.
On July 24, a man allegedly walked up to another man, asked if he was gay, and then beat him after the victim answered in the affirmative, says Sgt. Rico Fernandez, a spokesman for the police department. Police arrested a suspect, Jorge Jhovanoy Ibarria, that night and the District Attorney's office has filed one felony count of battery with a hate crime enhancement against Ibarria, Fernandez says.
A few days later, a male suspect approached another man who was walking on a sidewalk in the area, Fernandez says. The two men exchanged some words and then the suspect hit the victim and left, Fernandez says. The suspect used some slurs during the exchange, but police don't believe the violence started because the victim was gay, Fernandez says. Therefore, police are considering it a hate incident, but not a hate crime.